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Copyright, 1890, by J. B. Lippincott Company. 


Kansas, the central state of the American Union, 
and the eighth in area, is bounded N. by Nebraska, 
,E. by Missouri, S. by Indian Territory, and W. by 
Colorado. It is about 400 miles from east to west, 
and 200 from north to south, and contains an area of 
82,080 sq. m. The surface is for the most part a 
rolling prairie, rising in the north-west to between 
3000 and 4000 feet. Along the eastern boundary the 
average elevation is 800 feet, and the rise is so grad- 
ual as to be imperceptible ; there are no mountains 
in the state. The bottoms along the larger streams 
are commonly called valleys, and vary from J^ mile 
to 5 miles in width ; in eastern Kansas they are 
deeply depressed, and are skirted by bold bluffs 
rising to 300 feet, but in the west the line between 
valley and upland can hardly be distinguished. 
Kansas has no navigable river except the Missouri, 
which forms a portion of its eastern boundary. The 
Kansas or Kaw drains nearly half the state, and the 
Arkansas drains another large portion ; the Neosho 
and Marais des Cygnes furnish the water system of 
south-eastern Kansas. The larger streams, as the 


Kansas and Arkansas, are rivers of the plains, with 
light banks and sandy bottoms ; but many of the 
smaller rivers have rock bottoms, and supply abun- 
dant water-power. The timber of the state is found 
in a narrow belt along the watercourses, principally 
in the east. 

Kansas has a climate subject to extremes of tem- 
perature, but neither excessive cold nor heat prevails 
for long periods. There is a great proportion of 
bright, clear weather in all seasons of the year. 
While a record of io6° F. above zero has been ob- 
served, cases of fatal sunstroke are unknown, and 
men pursue their ordinary outdoor avocations with 
scarcely an interruption throughout the year. The 
mercury rarely falls below zero, and in many seasons 
the farmers plough during every month of winter. 
The mean annual rainfall is 37'io inches; but in the 
west the supply is much more scanty, and in the 
upper Arkansas valley irrigation by means of ditches 
has been introduced. The average annual tempera- 
ture is 53° F. 

The minerals of Kansas include lead and zinc in 
abundance in the south-east ; coal of excellent qual- 
ity, the coalfield occupying all the eastern portion 
of the state ; lignite in the west ; immense beds of 
rock-salt; and mineral paint, gypsum, good building- 
stones, brick-clay, and material for hydraulic cement. 
The output of coal in the year 1888-89 ^^^^ ^/^ 
million tons, of lead 5000 tons, and of zinc 20,000 

Kansas is an agricultural and pastoral state. The 
soil throughout is uniformly fertile, but there is a 



considerable difference in actual productiveness owing 
to the difference in the rainfall. The area under 
wheat, maize, and oats was 9,481,383 acres in 1888, 
and 10,149,779 acres in 1889. In the latter year the 
product of winter wheat was 35,030,048 bushels 
(22*58 to the acre), and of spring wheat 36,219,851 
bushels (13*46 per acre); 6,920,693 acres yielded 
276,541,368 bushels of maize. Horticulture has 
steadily extended, and since 1887 the growing of 
sorghum cane for sugar has assumed prominence; 
in 1889 over 1,200,000 lb. of sorghum sugar was 
made. Great quantities of prairie hay are cut on 
the still uncultivated lands. Creameries are numer- 
ous, and more and more attention is given to the 
raising of blooded stock. Forestry also has engaged 
the attention of the farmers, and thousands of acres 
of planted timber now break the surface of the 

The manufacturing industries are chiefly those 
connected with agriculture and stock-raising. Of 
these the most important is beef and pork packing, 
the principal establishments being at Kansas City. 
The flouring-mills are next in importance, and then 
the foundries, and the manufacture of stoves and 
agricultural implements. The building of railways 
began in Kansas in i860; in 1890 every county in 
the state save five had one or more lines, their total: 
length exceeding 8800 miles. 

Kansas is divided into 106 counties, and sends two 
senators and seven representatives to congress. State 
officers and members of the legislature are elected 
every two years. The marked features of the con- 


stitution are the liberal Homestead (q. v.) exemption ; 
the privileges of married women, who may carry on 
business and hold property as if single ; the suffrage 
provisions, which allow women to vote at school and 
municipal elections; and the prohibitory statute 
which forbids the manufacture or sale in Kansas of 
intoxicating liquors for other than medicinal or 
mechanical purposes. There are insane asylums at 
Topeka and Osawatomie, a boys' reformatory at 
Topeka, an asylum for the blind at Kansas City, a 
Soldiers' Orphans' Home at Atchison, an institution 
for the education of the deaf and dumb at Olathe 
and an asylum for idiotic and imbecile youths at 
Winfield ; and the state in 1889 adopted also the in- 
dustrial school for girls at Beloit. In each township 
two sections (1280 acres) have been given to the 
common schools, and the sale of these lands forms 
the basis of the permanent school fund, which in 1888 
amounted to ;^4,959,I78. Local taxation is cheer- 
fully assumed, and in 1888 the total expenditure for 
schools was ;^4, 164,91 5 ; the number of teachers was 
1 1,3 10, of school buildings 8 196, and the average daily 
attendance 245,881. The state also maintains a univer- 
sity at Lawrence, which had 527 students in 1890; an 
agricultural college at Manhattan (445 students) ; and 
a normal school at Emporia (875 students in 1888). 
There are also a number of denominational and other 
colleges in the state. Co-education prevails, with 
hardly an exception. 

History. — Kansas when first known to white ex- 
plorers was occupied by several tribes of Indians, from 
one of which, the Kaw or Kansas Indians, the river 


and the state derive their names. The state, save a 
small fraction, was acquired in the Louisiana purchase, 
and was organised as a territory by the passage of 
the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. .The act provided 
that the question of the existence of slavery as a per- 
manent institution in the territory should be decided 
by its people. Kansas at once became the battle- 
ground between the partisans of slavery and freedom. 
Large parties from the bordering slave-state of Mis- 
souri repeatedly invaded the territory ; and armed 
colonists from South Carolina and other southern 
states came to take possession. These were met by 
immigrants from the northern states. Both parties 
started towns and settlements. Elections were at- 
tempted, but resulted in the seizure of the polls by 
the pro-slavery party and the refusal of the Free 
State party to abide by the declared results. Col- 
lisions became numerous, and robberies and murders 
were committed. The Federal administration sided 
with the pro-slavery party, and used the government 
of the territory and the United States troops against 
the Free State party. John Brown (q. v.) took part 
in the civil war which prevailed, and many fights that 
were almost battles took place. The Free State party 
was steadily reinforced from the north, and by the 
year 1857 seemed everywhere in the ascendant; but 
as late as May 1858 occurred what is known in Kansas 
history as the ' Marais des Cygnes massacre,' in which 
six Free State settlers were killed and four badly 
wounded by a party from Missouri. After several 
futile endeavours to organise, however, the Wyan- 
dotte constitution was finally adopted in 1859, and 



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on the 29th of January 1861 Kansas was admitted as 
a state of the Union. The civil war immediately 
followed. Out of a population of 100,000 Kansas 
sent 20,000 soldiers to the field. Kansas suffered 
greatly throughout the war, but the building of rail- 
roads, begun during its continuance, was pushed with 
energy at its close ; immigration poured in on a scale 
before unknown in America, and the career of the 
state has since been one of almost uninterrupted pros- 
perity. The population of Kansas in i860 was 
107,206; in 1889 it was 1,464,914. The population 
of the principal cities in 1889 as returned was : Kansas 
City, 36,279; Topeka, the capital, 35,622; Wichita, 
33,999; Leavenworth, 20,806; Atchison, 17,023; 
Fort Scott, 15,607; Hutchinson, 14,028; Lawrence, 




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